Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Remembering Trees Lost

The local council is widening a road near me.  Road widening means the trees have to go to make way for bitumen, road infrastructure, and cars (including mine).

Natural habitats will always be at the mercy of human needs.  But in this case, I felt very emotional about one particular tree.  It was a beautiful eucalypt, tall and old, but healthy and resilient even though it was close to the road and a busy intersection.  Then as they started the road works, I noted it was on the wrong side of the construction fencing.  And that means its days were numbered.  This made me very sad as I reflected on its fate.  Then one day it was gone.

This event has inspired me to start working on a new series of monotypes.  My idea is to do multiple mini prints using individual leaves, employing repetition as a form of meditation.  Each leaf print will act as a metaphor for my desire to hold onto the memory of those trees, as if I'm trying not to forget them, and to remember the joy they gave me as I drove through that avenue of majestic gums.

I started working on these prints whilst on holidays at the coast. My print studio as always comes on holiday with me, this time I was able to set up my Xcut printer on the kitchen benchtop, so I had sea views as I worked.  I also used my holiday time to ride my bicycle to local bushland to collect leaves to print with.  I wanted to find ones that had character and would do justice to my idea.

I've ended up with a large selection of prints, I'm thinking that I will create a series of two or three artworks, loosely titled 'Memory of Trees' or 'Meditation on Trees'.    Through my artwork I will remember those trees, in particular that tall majestic gum on the wrong side of the fence. 

My art studio in the kitchen of our unit.

Printing on the Xcut.

The view from our unit.  

Out mountain biking, collecting leaves.
Can you see the Lace Monitor on the tree behind me?

Some of the leaf prints, I love repetition in monoprinting,
as every print is different.

Pulling the print and seeing the image is
so exciting!

The ghost image on the plate, held
up to the light... beautiful!

Another magical print.  I LOVE monoprinting!

I love how the leaf develops some gorgeous colours too.


  1. Hello Sandra, I'm having the same distress here, watching magnificent eucy trees go down for infrastructure. Personally I'd prefer to drive around trees than have them cut down. Love your work. ARe you using your xcut with a geli plate to make those prints? Must be a v strong plate! cheers, Cher McGrath

    1. Hi Cher. Unfortunately the car takes precedence over the trees, so I try and ride my bike to the shops when I can to reduce traffic on the roads. I don't use the Xcut with my gelli plate. The bed for the Xcut is supplied with it, its like chopping board material. The poor gelli plate would be squished if I used it in the Xcut, the gelli plate doesn't need too much pressure to print, just your hand is enough.

  2. Yes, I do geli prints [& I have a lovely little Xcut too], so I was wondering how you could use the Xcut [unless your plate was a bought one - silicon]. Just that Pic No2 of the series shows you pulling a print off a plate, resting on the Xcut, & I leapt to a conclusion. I thought Wheweeee! That's pretty interesting :/ cheers.

    1. Cher, check out the facebook group 'Craft Press Printmakers' to reveal the wonder of using die-cut machines as an alternative to an etching press. Even more fun than gelli printing!